Bronx Stalking Lawyer
Stalking is a crime in all the states in the United States. In the Bronx and New York in general, it is noted as a repetitive behavior in which a person willfully and maliciously follows another person and keeps tabs on them in a variety of ways. It is never a one-time occurrence and is usually perpetrated against an estranged romantic partner or spouse. In New York, the law against stalking is defined as a crime in which there is repeated harassment that can pose the legitimate threat of harm against the victim. Stalking victims usually seek restraining orders or orders of protection to keep their stalkers at bay. It’s important to know about stalking laws in the Bronx and the rest of New York.
There are different degrees of stalking, and the lower the number, the more serious the offense.
Stalking in the Fourth Degree
Stalking in the fourth degree is considered a Class B misdemeanor. The crime occurs when a person intentionally engages in behavior they know causes fear to their victim and people close to them. The victim feels unsafe and the stalking can cause harm to their mental or emotional health and potentially threaten their employment.
If a person is found guilty and is subsequently convicted of stalking in the fourth degree, they can face jail time of up to 90 days.
If someone is a repeat offender who continuously stalks a victim within 10 years of a prior conviction, they can face penalties that include an upgrade of the stalking crime to the third degree. If the stalking reoccurs after a period of five years after a conviction, the individual can be charged with stalking in the second degree.
Stalking in the Third Degree
Stalking in the third degree is slightly more serious than in the fourth degree. The crime is charged as a Class A misdemeanor and if a person is convicted, they can face a full year in jail. To be charged with this crime, the individual would have committed stalking against three or more people in three or more situations; committed stalking when they have a prior conviction for another criminal offense against the same victim or a member of their family or another person known to the victim; or continuously harassed, annoyed or placed fear in a victim.
Stalking in the Second Degree
Stalking in the second degree is considered a Class E felony under New York state law and carries a penalty of four years in prison if the individual is convicted. A person can be charged with this crime if they stalked a victim and possessed, displayed or threatened them with a weapon; had a prior similar conviction against the same victim, a member of their family or someone else they know within the past five years; committed fourth-degree stalking and have a prior conviction for third-degree stalking; committed stalking against 10 people in 10 different situations but was not convicted for it; or are 21 or older and have repeated committed stalking against someone under 14 and placed them in fear of injury or death.
Stalking in the First Degree
Stalking in the first degree is the most serious stalking offense and is considered a class D felony, which can carry up to seven years in prison if a person is convicted. A person can be charged and convicted of this crime if they committed stalking in the second or third degree and intentionally or recklessly caused physical harm to the victim; or committed another criminal offense.
No matter what the degree of the crime, stalking is a very serious offense in the Bronx and throughout New York in general. In many instances, the accusation of stalking can be conflicting in the way each party views the situation. If you have been charged with stalking, it’s very important to have a skilled criminal defense attorney on your side. Get in touch with a lawyer at your earliest convenience.
May 17, 2018
Spodek Law is a great firm. They are super pragmatic